Sleeping Dogs Lie 77: Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois

pearlHearing Budd’s piano slowly fade in with the start of “Late October” is just one of those perfect moments — it’s something very distinctly him, made even more so with Eno’s touches and slight echo, and it signals the start of a fine album indeed. Acting in some respects as the understandable counterpart to Ambient 2, with the same sense of hushed, ethereal beauty the partnership brought forth on that album, The Pearl is so ridiculously good it instantly shows up much of the mainstream new age as the gloopy schlock that it often is. Eno himself is sensed as a performer on the album, if not by his absence then by his very understated presence. The merest hints of synth and whisper play around Budd’s performances, ensuring the latter takes center stage. Eno and Daniel Lanois handle the production side of things, their teamwork once again overseeing a winner. When they bring themselves a little more to the fore, it still always is in the subtlest of ways, as with the artificially higher-pitched notes from Budd on “Lost in the Humming Air.” Part of the distinct charm of the album is how the song titles perfectly capture what the music sounds like — “A Stream With Bright Fish” is almost self-defining. Another key point is how Budd truly captures what ambience in general can and does mean. “Against the Sky” is a strong example — it can be totally concentrated upon or left to play as atmospherics and is also at once both truly beautiful and not a little haunting in a disturbing sense. Other highlight tracks include the deceptively simple title track, as serene a piece of music as was ever recorded, and the closing “Still Return,” bringing The Pearl to a last peak of beauty. ~ Ned Raggett, AMG

glitterbugA clue as to the origins of Music For Glitterbug was finally gleaned in June of 1998 when Eno was interviewed in Mojo magazine: “Spinner wasn’t really a collaboration [with Jah Wobble]. I had done the soundtrack to the Derek Jarman film, Glitterbug, but didn’t think it stood up on its own as an album, without the film.”

Jarman’s last completed film while he was still alive was 1993’s Blue. Blue consists of a single shot of saturated blue colour filling the screen, as background to a soundtrack composed by Simon Fisher Turner featuring original music by Coil and other artists, where Jarman describes his life and vision.

The concept of Glitterbug was to use super 8 mm films Jarman had taken throughout his life and splice them together to tell his story. In the end, he managed to edit about an hour’s worth. This is how All Movie Guide described the hurriedly-made documentary: “It is considered to be the companion piece to Jarman’s film Blue. Without a traditional plot, the film chronicles Jarman’s life before AIDS with a series of free-flowing images gleaned from over 15 hours of Jarman’s home movies taken between the years 1970-1985. London provides the central image, but other places seen include Italy, Spain, and rural England. The glittering parties filled with drag queens, drugs, and interesting people before the onset of AIDS are also chronicled.”

Here is the original stereo mix of that soundtrack that was eventually worked over by Jah Wobble and released as Spinner after much changes – Wobble added rhythms, bass parts, and orchestra.

01 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “Late October” (04:44) from “The Pearl” (1984)
02 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “A Stream With Bright Fish” (03:57) from “The Pearl” (1984)
03 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “The Silver Ball” (03:31) from “The Pearl” (1984)
04 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “Against The Sky” (04:52) from “The Pearl” (1984)
05 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “Lost In The Humming Air” (04:21) from “The Pearl” (1984)
06 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “Dark-Eyed Sister” (04:42) from “The Pearl” (1984)
07 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “Their Memories” (02:58) from “The Pearl” (1984)
08 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “The Pearl” (03:14) from “The Pearl” (1984)
09 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “Foreshadowed” (03:52) from “The Pearl” (1984)
10 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “An Echo Of Night” (02:28) from “The Pearl” (1984)
11 Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois: “Still Return” (04:12) from “The Pearl” (1984)
12 Brian Eno: “Glitterbug 08” (03:10) from “Music For Glitterbug” (1994)
13 Brian Eno: “Glitterbug 10” (03:00) from “Music For Glitterbug” (1994)
14 Brian Eno: “Glitterbug 11” (03:19) from “Music For Glitterbug” (1994)
15 Brian Eno: “Glitterbug 17” (02:05) from “Music For Glitterbug” (1994)
16 Brian Eno: “Glitterbug 18” (04:22) from “Music For Glitterbug” (1994)